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Friday, February 03, 2006

Disgraceful political games

If I believed for a second that Jack Straw cared about either free speech or the characterisation of Muhammad then I wouldn't mind this outburst quite so much. Sadly, as it is, after his trials and tribulations during the last general election I can't help but feel it is just a cynical ploy to shore up the sizeable Muslim vote in his constituency.

What's more, in "condemning the decision by some European newspapers to reproduce cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad as "disrespectful"" he is throwing his weight into an argument he should ignore. Just as it is not the responsibility of Government - or rather it shouldn't be in a non-Islamic system of Government - to regulate the press, it should not be up to the likes of Peter Mandelson and Jack Straw to dictate what they should or shouldn't do. They are entitled to their opinion, but we may hold them to account for it. What is disappointing is that there was no real criticism of the extreme and unnecessary response across the Muslim world.

I have some concerns over the sagacity of reprinting these images myself, but I am more than acutely aware that the sort of attitude which thinks it can gag such free expression must be taken on and faced down. My greatest worry is that the rumblings of Mandelson and Straw, for short-term personal ends, are just to avoid a confrontation between our principles of liberty and democracy and those of militant Islam. In so doing we risk permitting an unacceptable ideology to grow even stronger, thereby delaying an inevitable confrontation to a time where we are less likely to win.

UPDATE: In the meantime, you can continue irritating this lot, but buying this lot, and at the same time showing you stand fully behind free speech, in its true meaning.

UPDATED UPDATE: More eloquent words than mine from Militant Moderate.

2 Comments:

At 9:09 pm, Blogger Chris Palmer said...

The Labour party and its members are control freaks. You can tell who is in favour of freedom of speech and who is not by who speaks up for it, or who panders to the Muslims. Clearly Jack Straw (like the BBC) is pandering to the Muslims.

 
At 10:21 pm, Blogger Edward said...

Exactly. Thanks for visiting. Hope there'll be more to interest you in the next few weeks.

 

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